Transforming Spaces: A Year with Transformaciones

Finals week was flying towards us, essays and readings piling up like the snow all the Christmas songs spoke about. It was during this time a year ago, amidst this chaos, that Transformaciones first came into existence. Andrea approached us with the idea of a blog, a place where students could explore their passions relating to the Latin American region without having to write in an academic format. We were curious to hear what our classmates and the Georgetown community would focus on if they had the space to speak their mind without limits. It took a while but after weeks of planning, of contests for the names, contacting friends to be editors, and talking to the Center for Latin American Studies, we began the blog.

It was exciting, watching this small wordpress slowly gain watchers, seeing how our friends, classmates, family would share the articles and then their friends would read and comment. We could see the network that had started with a five person group in Georgetown expand to readers worldwide. Our blog has gained over 3000 views with people checking the articles across the globe, from Australia to Costa Rica, from Russia to Mozambique.

Our main idea was to create spaces where current and former Georgetown students could explore subjects they were passionate about and because of this, we never forced people to write articles. This allowed our voluntary authors to explore subjects like pop culture, grass-root organizations, politics, history, and so many more. This semester, we were lucky enough to gain three new people on our staff who brought innovative ideas to the table. We were able to start coffee hours where students and those interested could meet with the authors of articles to discuss the blog pieces themselves and the larger themes explored in them. These hours of casual conversation helped us learn about each other and about the region.

All of a sudden, Transformaciones became a common name at the Center for Latin American Studies. We were able to plan a wider range of events like a meeting with an indigenous community leader from Guatemala while also doing more laid-back activities such as a Dia de los Muertos party with poetry. People would come up to us and tell us they loved the articles we were publishing; we received comments about wanting to have coffee hours centered on some subjects. That was the most rewarding thing of all: the space we had created for people had enlivened them. You all were engaged with the posts each week.

A year has passed and during these months, we have learned from past mistakes and built a student-run blog we can be proud of. Mary, Andrea, and I will be stepping down from the leading roles at Transformaciones. This is not to say the blog will stop; it will continue under a new committee led by Rachel, Denisse, and Kandya. There is still much to do, more stories to be heard chosen by you, our wonderful readers, more events and discussions to be created. We know they will make us proud and will help develop this space we made for you.

Keep pursuing the things you love in this world. Write about them. We hope you will make Transformaciones part of your growth and always strive to spread your knowledge and experience to others.

And thank you.

Thank you for making our first year an incredible one.

Sigan con fuerza,

Andrea Arzaba, Mary Maloney, & Ana-Sofia Alcaraz

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